All businesses require a reliable security partner to protect their property and people within the organization. Countless security companies claim to offer dependable services, but many fail to meet client expectations. Unfortunately, you can’t just hire any security company and expect top-tier service.

The boom in the security industry is hardly surprising given the advancements in technology and the ever-increasing threat of security breaches. Understandably, more businesses and individuals are looking for expert security protection. If you’re seeking a security firm to protect your building, where do you even start? Hiring the best security company can be a difficult and challenging task.

Before hiring a security partner, make sure you have all the information you need and be diligent in your vetting process. Are you looking for advice on finding the best security provider for your building? Here are three key questions to ask security companies you’re screening to ensure your security is in the right hands.

How Do You Screen Job Candidates?

The turnover rate for the security industry tends to be relatively high. The common problem for security companies with high turnover rates is that they fail to implement proper job screening procedures. This often results in the negligent hiring of individuals who are not suitable for security positions, putting businesses they’re protecting at risk.

Having a competent team of security staff that can be relied upon to respond appropriately to emergencies and threats starts with the right hiring process. A security company’s workforce is its most vital element. You want to work with a security company that has a thorough screening process.

Proper security personnel screening should be dynamic and consist of multiple procedures. An essential part of the screening process should be the completion of a criminal background check. Individuals with a criminal background are not the best candidates to protect a client’s assets, people, and property.

Ask the company you’re vetting whether they conduct background checks. This ensures they’re hiring only individuals who possess the required skills and attributes. You should feel confident that the guards are fit for the job.

Another critical component of the screening process is to check in with previous employers and references of the applicant. Security guards must be time conscious, for example, to begin their security assignments on time or relieve their colleagues of their duties when their respective shifts end. This will help you determine the reliability of each applicant.

A simple drug test during the screening process can help eliminate potentially risky applicants. Announcing that drug tests will be randomly administered helps steer away unwanted applicants and ensure a professional work environment.

Personality testing is also making its way into the security industry. Personality tests are often quick and easy to administer, and they can provide a security company with relative information regarding the personality of their potential hires. The security firm can then determine which personality type will best fit a security guard position.

You also want to work with a security company that looks specifically for candidates who are passionate about a career in the security industry. Only individuals who want to make a career in the industry will have a genuine interest and passion for the job. Any reputable security company will look for adaptable, intelligent candidates who possess well-developed people skills and good judgment.

How Do You Train Your Staff?

Every state has its own legal requirements for education, qualification, and training for security guards. For example, this is the qualifications for security guard training in New York.

Before settling for a particular security company, you should familiarize yourself with your state’s requirements, so you can confirm whether the company you intend to hire complies with them.

Training methods and ideologies may vary, so it’s critical that the training follows mandated topics that meet state requirements and conform to your business needs. This may include situations specific to the nature of your business, such as specialized equipment operations and the handling of hazardous materials.

Some security services have professional training programs, while others don’t. Don’t shy away from asking the security company how they train their officers. Any dependable security vendor should be able to provide you with detailed explanations of the training process and documentation for their particular training program, including:

  • The specific training topics and their respective learning objectives.
  • Copies of initial and continuing training topic lesson plans, including the length of each topic presentation.
  • The identification and qualifications of trainers.
  • How the training was presented – online, problem solving, group discussions and exercises, lectures, etc.
  • A testing program to determine how each security officer demonstrated their understanding of the topic.
  • Proof that the individual attended the training.

Any successful security operation must have an on-going training model. The licensing and qualification provide the basics a security officer or guard needs, but as in any job, continued education is what makes a great employee. Establish whether the company offers its employees opportunities for continuous learning and career advancement.

At the very least, the company should train its personnel on company processes, business operations, and job expectations. Frequent on-the-job training is also crucial.

When a supervisor walks a guard around a new property, they ensure that the officer knows the ins and outs of each checkpoint. Through scenario role-play and verbal questions, supervisors can assess how well officers pick up the job requirements. This is also a helpful strategy to implement when officers are struggling to perform their duties.

Another excellent training resource is having employees attend regular seminars and workshops. They are a great way to keep security personnel up-to-date on new training techniques, business operations, and industry best practices. Continuous training keeps training tools relevant and ensures officers are alert and engaged with the company and industry.

Most security and asset protection training modules are cross-functional and thereby applicable to numerous industries. Some industries or markets, such as financial institutions, require specialized training as well.

How Do You Match Staff with Client Needs?

When you’re looking for a security service, you need to establish whether the company is a good fit for your business. You want to know what the company can offer so you can trust them to secure your property and keep your employees safe. The company should be able to match the skills of its employees to meet your specific needs.

After hiring and training personnel, ask the company how they seek to best match their staff’s interests and personality types with your business requirements and environment.

Security needs differ from one company to another and from industry to industry, and not all security services are created equal. Depending on your needs, you may want a company specializing in warehouse security, corporate security, or both. You may also want to consider whether the company offers event security services or long-term security.

The company you’re thinking about hiring should review your security needs to determine what kind of protection you need. For instance, if you need armed guards, their staff should be licensed to carry firearms and well trained in operating them to avoid liability issues. If the nature of your business requires a team of guards to conduct frequent patrols, then the company should provide practical solutions to meet your needs.

For example, some individuals may prefer working in a medical center where they can interact with a close-knit community. In contrast, others may prefer warehouses or storage facilities where there’s likely to be much less personal interaction with others.

Some might want to work in different venues, like special events and concerts, where they can see and meet new people all the time. In contrast, others may prefer an office environment where they’re in the same place, day after day, interacting with the same people.

Matching personnel with customer needs and environments helps them get established with their security roles more quickly and become better engaged in the customers’ business and culture.

You want to hire a company that stands out from the competition in its ability to meet and exceed your expectations.

Bottom Line

Incorporating the answers to these questions into your vetting process will go a long way toward helping you hire the right security vendor for your business. Keep in mind there are plenty of other critical questions worth asking when choosing a security team. Be sure to take some extra time to go over your specific needs before making an official hire.

The more you know about a security company, the easier it is for you to make an informed decision when the time comes to hire security for your business.

Building Security Services, Inc. is the most trusted building security company in New Jersey and New York. Contact us today to discuss your building security needs and find out what we can offer you and your company. Our competent staff will help you generate a security plan specific to your company and provide you with a strategy that fits within your security budget.

Joseph Ferdinando is the visionary founder of Building Security Services, a leading security company renowned for its comprehensive security services. With an illustrious career spanning over 40 years in the security industry, Joseph has been instrumental in elevating the standards of security guard services for a broad spectrum of businesses and organizations. As an influential member of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) in both New York and New Jersey chapters, Joseph has played a pivotal role in shaping industry standards and practices.